STTU was one of the first training organizations to develop law enforcement and military train-the-trainer programs based on modern educational methodologies, human performance, and sports physiology. OPERATIONAL STUDIES supports STTU’s train-the-trainer programs with continual research into adult learning and teaching, high performance athlete development and coaching, sports kinesiology, biomechanics, courseware development, and best practices in risk management.   

After trainees have completed selected STTU programs (, train-the-trainer programs can take them to the next level as instructors and instructor-trainers. Apart from possessing demonstration quality skills, the Instructor has many obligations to meet when teaching, among which is the shaping of proper behaviors until conditioning and transfer of learning occurs.

Instructor candidates are taught to employ all phases of teaching and to stimulate learning, reinforce responses, and to motivate and guide students through the learning process. They are also taught to take into consideration individual physical factors affecting learning, and to develop effective course structures. Efficient and effective use of training time is stressed in all programs and safety is paramount, particularly in live-fire, CQB, HRT, and reality-based training evolutions.

STTU educational development and train-the-trainer programs are designed to improve the instructional capabilities and communications skills of law enforcement and military officers and trainers. These programs are recommended for educators, physical fitness trainers, coaches, weapons & tactics instructors, training facility managers, operational briefers, and range safety officers. 

Each train-the-trainer program is customized to suit the operational and training requirements of the host agency or command. Topics covered in these programs can include:

  • Principles of Adult Learning
  • Principles of Decision-based Learning
  • Laws of Teaching
  • Instructional Methodologies
  • Teaching Technical & Tactical Skills
  • Effective use of Training Aids
  • Obligations of the Instructor
  • Student & Trainee Assessments 

 Training Program & Courseware Development

  • Effective PowerPoint Presentation Development
  • Training Program Management
  • Training Policies & Procedures
  • Minimum Operating Standards
  • Risk Management
  • Reality-based Training Development
  • Shooting Range Management
  • Mission-specific Training Development
  • Human Performance in Adverse Environments
  • Warrior Development
  • Post-training Assessments & Validation
  • Methods of Individual & Group Testing
  • Record Keeping
  • Instructor Development Certifications (Multi-level program)
  • Instructor Certification
  • Instructor-Trainer Certification
  • Course Director Certification

While staying true to the established principles of learning such as stimulus, response, reinforcement and motivation, OS and STTU stress the importance of repetition in training to condition the trainees and achieve a positive change in behavior. This requires a constant process of teaching, trial, feedback, practice, reinforcement, practice (as many times as necessary), constructive critique, and finally conditioned response. OS and STTU are also strong proponents of decision-based learning and guided discovery – a process of building on past experience, knowing that optimum learning occurs when students are able to apply past learning to a new situation. Decision-based learning ensures that the trainees are mentally engaged in the learning and training process. 

All Train-the-Trainer programs are taught by Mark Lonsdale, Director of STTU and Operational Studies; an educator, trainer, law enforcement and military advisor, firearms instructor, and nationally certified judo coach. After 30 years for running STTU training programs and teaching instructor development at the university level, Mark Lonsdale has amassed considerable experience in teaching and training methodology. However, what separates STTU’s training development programs from conventional teaching is the experience that only comes from training hundreds of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, US law enforcement officers and federal agents. This experience has been further enhanced by work with coalition forces in Europe and the Middle East, and law enforcement agencies in Eastern Europe and Asia.

For additional information contact the STTU Training Director at

  All Contents © 2012 Operational Studies (

About Mark V

Dedicated shooter, seeker, traveler, teacher, trainer, educator
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